Since I returned to the UK last year some of my friends from London have sporadically and independently messaged me to say that they have been inspired by me. If you read my last blog (Mirror Mirror on the Wall) you’ll know that I struggle to accept compliments and this has been by far the hardest one to swallow! But they have witnessed the changes I have made to my life in the last year, from relocating to Southport from London, from changing my career (Lawyer to Yoga Teacher), to my happiness levels (from Eeyore to Tigger), and to my openness and boldness in writing this blog – in calling myself out on my bulllsh!t, for people to read and share without fear or embarrassment (although between you and I sometimes I do hesitate before pressing ‘send’ on the odd blog post..).
I’ve had time to dwell on inspiration. On what I would like to inspire, on what my inspiration is and on what led to my transformation, and what it is that continues to help me grow. And the truth to change, to finding more peace and happiness, is to ‘be the change you wish to see in the World.’ You’ve seen that on a Facebook post right? You gotta love a cliché…
But it does start with you. It starts with the small change of making yourself happier, by slowing down and finding acceptance with yourself. It may surprise you to hear that my inspiration does not come from my Guru in India. I follow my Guru and his teachings, and I would love to spend more time learning from him again. I study and practice yoga but my real inspiration doesn’t come from a book, or a qualification, it comes from the people immediately around me. It comes from my family, my close friends and the man I am dating. It comes from my ‘normal’ life here in Southport with my students, not from the adventures I had on the other side of the World. It comes from watching those around me battle on, who hunker down in times of adversity and keep smiling, who keep hoping for more, for better. Those who don’t lose their heads, fall into self-pity (a mope is quite rightly deserved for a few people I hold dear right now) but they can’t or won’t give up. It comes from the simple things like a hug from my father, a giggle from my nephew or a twerk from my mother and sister (I think it’s genetic). It comes from the shared smiles and the intimate imperfect moments with those you love. It comes from being honest. We can all inspire each other if we slow down and be more open. So tell your loved ones you love them. Hug them a little harder. And forgive those who challenge, hurt and disappoint you.
When I started dating a friend pointed out to me that it wasn’t a bad thing to tell someone you are keen on that you are keen on them… This was a revelation. At 33. How sad is that!? But it comes from years of guarded dating in the minefield of NeverNeverLand aka London and one too many broken promises, and breaks to my heart. However, in the yoga spirit of continued growth and embracing my vulnerability I have been more open, more complimentary and more keen than cool… And it feels good. Paying someone a true and heartfelt compliment when it occurs to me (and without the expectation of a response) makes me smile. I feel good. So it’s selfish really. And that’s the other lesson I have learnt – being selfish is not selfish. It’s necessary. You have to take care of yourself first so you can then support, love and be happier for other people.
Whilst we are distracted and searching for answers in other people, in material things, in far flung exotic places then there’s a good chance you are overlooking the extraordinary that you already have right in front of your nose. My best friend feels it when she looks at her two boys. I feel it when I look out to the ocean or up to the clouds in the sky. I feel empowered, alive and grateful. But, not today. Today I am hungover and mostly feel dehydrated.